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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

apology not accepted

Most days start with the best of intentions.  We have a fun outing in the morning.  And then somewhere between 3 and 4 o'clock, it all goes south.  Some days, we can be at home, have fun, and maybe even get a load of laundry folded, but other days it feels like this house is sagging with the weight of my heart and our overabundance of stuff.  We are all slowly imploding, and these walls and my flesh are groaning against the pressure.  The pressure to be.  The pressure to hold.  But, I'm here.  I'm all here.  I'm committed to this journey that God has called me to.  I'm committed to these three little souls that make me cry and laugh in an instant.   And yet, when I'm surrounded by the mess and the toys and the crumbs and my silk pillows that I once loved strewn about on the living room floor, I feel like my insides are all zinging about and I might explode.  I feel battered and bruised by this day.
Other days it feels like this house is sagging with the weight of my heart and our overabundance of stuff.
We escape.  We make our way to Target where for 10 beautiful minutes in the car we are all strapped down, and the lure of cheese sticks and dried apricots will hopefully keep everyone at bay for the duration of our trip.  Only, I'm still feeling turned inside out.  Questioning.  Unsure.  Unworthy.  Every moment of this day feels like an assault.  I can't even buy batteries without them being chucked out of the cart 5 times by my son.  Oh Target, why do you only have two carts that seat two kids, which by the way always seem to be in use?  

As I go through the check out line, exhaling that it is now 6pm and my husband should be home soon, I feel tender and raw and vulnerable.  Unaware, I apologize to the cashier repeatedly for opening the cheese sticks before paying and again as I'm handing her empty wrappers to throw out and a half-smooshed and slimy Happy Tot squeeze pack.  She says to me, "Why are you saying that? Is it just a reaction?  Sorry. I'm so sorry. Sorry."  I froze, mortified that she called me out in that way.  She seemed like a strong, unapologetic woman, and here I stood before her crumpled from my day, wanting to melt into the floor.  I didn't realize I had even said it...apparently over and over again.   I blinked back tears and choked through the rest of my check out, mustering as much confidence as I could in my answers to her questions of whether I needed bags and where to put the paper towels.   

And in those few moments I thought.  I thought about this spoken word poem that I heard a while back.

I thought about the time in college that I was acing a super tough human physiology class.  My test was missing when we picked them up, and when I  asked the teacher about it, she inquired my name and in response incredulously said, "YOU'RE Amy Whitaker??"  As if to say, the way I look couldn't possibly match up with a person who could do that well in her class.  How insecure that made me feel.

I thought about how I've been taught to be nice and unencumbering, and how my knee jerk reaction when my head was down,  and I slugged through the last half hour before my husband gets home was to say, "Sorry" repeatedly.   Why is this so ingrained in me that I feel I must apologize for everything.  For me.   Why do I feel the need to make myself smaller -  in stature, in wisdom, in weight, in space.   In person.  

Why is this so ingrained in me that I feel I must apologize for everything?  For me.   Why do I feel the need to make myself smaller -  in stature, in wisdom, in weight, in space.   In person.  

I thought about my own daughter.  Listening. Watching. Absorbing my habits, my traits, my beliefs, and most of all, my actions.   How do I teach her to be kind, yet confident.  Smart, yet not overbearing. Healthy, yet not overly concerned with appearance and weight.   I have found this world to be a confusing place in regards to all of this, and I'm still trying to figure out my place in it.  I am thankful for the grace of God, and I am thankful that we are continually growing and learning.  That the hard days make me savor the good days even more.   And I'm thankful for the woman in Target for seeing me as more than an apology and for reminding me to soldier on.   


  1. Amy - I have been there about being and saying sorry all the time. I have lost count how many people have told me that - family, friends, coworkers. I have learned there is nothing wrong with it. Just be you. You are one of the strongest people I know. Stay faithful to God and yourself.

  2. Get it girl. Vulnerable as ever. Xoxox

  3. This is awesome, Amy, thanks for sharing. I totally resonate with this! Also, go Target lady for challenging the need for an apology!

  4. Not sure about anyone else but the target lady made me mad lol! Love all these Amy!

    1. Ha! She made me mad too! But I'm also glad she did it. Definitely made me more aware, and I don't think anyone that knows me would have said that to me. :)

  5. I needed this reminder Amy. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Emma!! Miss you, girl. I hope you are doing well.


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